The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ has recorded remarkable seizures of smuggled frozen Poultry products comprising three thousand, three hundred and twenty eight (3328) cartons valued at N17.9m.
The Controller of the zone, Dahiru Umar, who made the disclosure while conducting the media round some of the seized products, said the seizures were made at different locations within the flanks and flashpoints under the supervisory authority of the unit.
The controller further stated that the unit is working very hard to change its modus operandi to suit the exigencies of the moment and to also ensure that the unit remains on top of the smugglers antics in all ramifications, particularly in terms of enhanced intelligence network.
He disclosed that the renewed onslaught led to the interception of an articulated truck suspected to be used in conveying large quantity of smuggled frozen poultry products which quantity is yet to be determined.
The controller described the team leader as a highly committed officer whose contribution to the seizure profile of the unit cannot be quantified.
The controller also narrated how smugglers used a truck for conveying alcoholic beverage to conceal cartons of poultry products, disclosed that two suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.
He said, “Investigations are ongoing to determine the level of involvement of the suspects before charging them to court and determine the degree of complicity of the truck owners in the unlawful act”.
He said the poultry products will be destroyed after contacting other relevant agencies of Government adding that the command has dug the site for the destruction activity.
He spoke overwhelmingly on the operational readiness of the unit under his command to deal very decisively with smuggling and smugglers in line with the mission and vision of the Customs Service.
“I advice smugglers in this Zone to invest their money in more legitimate businesses and avoid smuggling because the more you smuggle, the more we seize. We also call on the general public to oblige us with useful information on the activities of smugglers”, he added.
Meanwhile the Nigeria Police has given its support to the ongoing fight against smuggling..
This is coming following visits the Controller of the zone made to police chiefs as part of measures to increase inter service synergy between the FOU ‘A’ and the Nigeria Police.
The controller who noted the long standing relationship between Nigeria Customs Service and the Police, said inter agency cooperation will increase the degree of security in the society.
He added that the visit is intended to reinforce an existing tie between both organizations and form a common front in suppressing crime.
He commended the police chiefs for ensuring a reduction in the crime level in Lagos and the various breakthroughs the police is achieving in bursting crimes in Nigeria’s busiest commercial city.
Umar also explained that beyond intercepting and seizing prohibited items, “we are also charged with the responsibility of preventing dutiable goods from evading accurate duty payment”.
He commended the police for their selfless assistance to customs over the years and providing cover support for some customs operations in Lekki area of Lagos and Idiroko, Ogun State recently.
Bala Hassan, Assistant Inspector General in charge of Zone 2 and Fatai Owoseni, Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command who received Umar in their offices gave assurances of police support and cooperation to him in Lagos.
Hassan who commended Umar for standing tall in the fight against smuggling and other illegalities pledged the police cooperation whenever it is required.
He described the customs as part of the police family deserving to be supported in the police drive for a crime free society.
Owoseni described customs and police relationship as symbiotic and also likened them to siblings that must work together at all times. He added that customs is sensitive to the national economy with its revenue collection and trade facilitation role.
”We know that sometimes when robbers snatch vehicles, they want to go through the borders and we know you have men at the borders, so we need ourselves” Owoseni said.